Is Erfa still ok?

Hi everyone - I haven't been on here for ages as have been busy with my kitchen extension! I have been feeling really well on 2.25 grains of Armour (some of you may remember that if took me a very long time to get to the right dose).

Anyway I have been very fortunate as my GP has been prescribing the armour for me. Now, however, the chemist had told me that they are unable to import armour for me. Something due to the takeover of Forest Pharmaceuticals I think.

I had a chat with my GP and we agreed for me to try Erfa. This is now in the chemist ready for me to collect, but I saw something on STTM about Erfa having similar problems to when the formulation of Armour was changed (Before my time on it).

Does anyone know if this is the case? I would hate to go back down hill again. Sorry if this has been asked before, but haven't got my head round the changes to the site yet. Thanks very much for your help :)

26 Replies

  • Hi Clarebear, glad your kitchen is coming along nicely and it will be beautiful but am sorry about Armour. Many will be devastated.

    Erfa has proven to be problematic for some members too although the Company deny any change in it's process.

    How about Naturethroid which is hypoallergenic. I found it very good but it's the starting something new which is off-putting.


  • I was on Erfa for three years and did extremely well on it -however in 2014 I started to feel gradually more and more poorly -then I discovered there are a significant number of people complaining about Erfa with a return of their hypothyroid symptoms like me not relieved by increasing the dose. I switched 6 weeks ago to WP Thyroid as it has only three fillers all natural and no cellulose. Am now doing well but it took me 11 weeks off work to recover.

    Erfa have changed their factory location -have moved from Belgium to Spain -they have also changed their tablet pressing machines -my doctor told me this could well affect the efficacy of absorption of the meds.... So if it were me I would be very cautious......

  • Yes some people are currently having problems with some batches of ERFA. Other people are finding those same batches are fine for them. The company has investigated and found nothing wrong with any of the batches people have complained about but they have tested their own stocks of them, not the actual tablets some of us have. You can read a lot more about it on various FTPO Facebook pages and also here (hope I'm allowed to link to Janie's blog?):

    Some people think there's a problem with the actual pigs' thyroids, others that some sort of damage has happened in transit. Difficult to know what's going on but many of us have had to switch to another brand.

    If your pharmacy already have some in stock for you it would be interesting if you collected it, asked for the batch number and expiry date, let us know those details (Janie is trying to compile a list of the batches and what's happening with them) and then either see how you do on it, or, if it is one of the ones people have complained about, mention this to the pharmacy. There's no doubt that some batches are fine.

  • Yes Framboise and I note that they have been very careful about their wording about their 'checks' -saying the tests they carried out did not show any changes -which is rather different!

  • Exactly! The emails I've received from Dr Knafo have been similarly very carefully worded and mainly trying to put the blame on me.

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. That's a shame about Erfa - was v pleased to get my GP to prescribe it. Will do as suggested and ask for batch number. I still have some Armour and believe it is still available from the usual places if necessary, but a shame to pay when GP happy to prescribe :(

  • I have recently collected a prescription for Armour from the pharmacy with no mention of problems obtaining it. I had a medication review with the pharmacist who said she had been researching it as it was new to her (not the usual pharmacist who obtained it originally) but did not mention any problems with supply. Worried now! Hope you manage well on Erfa.

  • I am in Belgium, and some pharmacies claim they cannot get Armour anymore (one pharmacist even said it has been discontinued), while other pharmacies have no problems getting it. My doctor said it is still being manufactured, and that there are no plans whatsoever to stop maybe you just have to keep looking for a pharmacy that will listen to you, and find whichever drug YOU need...

  • Hi anna69 - thanks for your reply. I have been on Erfa now for 6 months and have decided I prefer it to Armour and have just got my second prescription from my GP for it :) x

  • Hi Clarebear,

    Could I ask why you prefer Erfa to Armour? Do you find it to work better, or is there another reason?

  • Hi anna69 - hard to say really! Just feel a bit more stable/consistent I think. They are also easier to cut up :D xx

  • My usual chemist couldn't get Armour but Boots could get hold of it - much more expensive though. Great that you can get an NHS prescription for ERFA. Why for that but not for Armour?

    I haven't tried ERFA although my endo has suggested it.

    I got on well with Nature thyroid too.

  • Clarebear, I think the specialist medicines importers like IDIS are still importing Armour from the USA. Your pharmacist will need to open an account with IDIS to get it.

  • Thanks - will tell them this, although I thought they were getting it via IDIS already... x

  • Clarebear, Springfield pharmacy in Richmond has all strengths of armour in stock! I received a letter from them recently with that information.I am also lucky enough now to get armour on NHS-fingers crossed it stays that way! x

  • Thanks - I seem to be doing OK on the Erfa although I haven't got any 1/4 grains like I did with Armour. I do have some half grains of Armour so am taking 2 grains of erfa every day and 1/2 a grain of armour to get my average 2.25 grains x

  • Thanks everyone. I was getting armour on prescription before Erfa, but pharmacist said no longer available. Think my pharmacist was getting it through Idis?

    Will give it a go and see with armour in reserve

    Thanks again :D xx

  • Hi Clarebear,

    Are you sure you really want to change from armour? Springfields does have it and he accepts NHS prescriptions.....they could post to you.

    You've done so well on Armour.

    When we go down hill it takes us such a long time to get back to where we should be. Months?? I would hate to see you relapse.

    I had to come off erfa after doing really well and would not trust it ever again. I am still not back to normal and have switched to WP THYROID but am considering switching to armour now.

    I don't believe that erfa have been honest with us at all.

  • Thanks - I have been on the Erfa for 3 weeks now and seem to be OK with it for now. Sounds from above that I might be able to get hold of Armour if needed. Hope you get back to normal soon xx

  • I switched to WP Thyroid and I know that Lloyd Pharmacy on are in the process of obtaining a licence to stock it -takes about 2 months they told me. Green Heyes have Naturthroid, Westhroid and Armour for NHS prescriptions.

  • Personally I feel really angry abut what happened to me -i had three different batches of Erfa but carried on declining over a 6-8 month period to such a degree that i found it scary. it was only when I switched brands to WP and had been on the new brand for a while that I really got how ineffective Erfa had become for me.

    Now i am up and moving around without feeling exhausted all the time and am no longer crashing for a few days after very mild exertion. I still have strength to regain, physical fitness and three stone of weight gained during this awful period that I need to loose. Frankly if there isn't a problem with Erfa Thyroid why would switching brands have made such a dramatic difference to me.....?????

  • I have been on Erfa for the past two years and did great on in it until a couple of months ago. Although I am still feeling well on it, it makes me itch all over, and the itching is driving me crazy. I am pretty sure Erfa is the problem as I forgot to take it recently and, after 24 h off the drug, the itching was all but gone...and came back as soon as I went back on it.

    I have been considering Armour (I am I Belgium where only Armour and Erfa are readily available in pharmacies, and quite a few "Hertoghe doctors" prescribe it), but there have been so many complaints about it since the reformulation...also, the price of Armour has doubled in Belgium in recent months. I talked to one pharmacy carrying Armour, and was told that, on my current dosage, I would have to pay +/-2000€ (ca 1600 GBP) per year...I am not willing to pay that much for something that is not working optimally.

    I have no idea what happened to Erfa, but something did happen...I still have a bottle of "old" Erfa left (blue/white label), and those pills are more even coloured, and not blotchy like the "new" ones (green/white and pink/white label). They taste the same, and dissolve as easily as ever, and I also cannot complain about the effectiveness...but this terrible itching is driving me crazy. At first, I thought that maybe I just needed to get used to new fillers and binders, so I have been waiting for the itching to subside but, so far, it hasn't...I have to say I am beginning to despair, and consider alternatives. It seems Erfa denies any problems with their product, so I don't think we can count on any help from them...

  • Sorry to hear of your itching problems - would it be worth trying to take an antihistamine with the Erfa to see if that helps? I seem to be doing as well on Erfa as i did on Armour thankfully.

  • Clarebear, can I ask you if you are still on Erfa, or back on Armour? I have not been doing that great lately on Erfa 125 mg pills, so I have been considering switching to Armour....which is why I would like to ask you about your preferences, since I remember you did really well on Armour? Thanks, Cat

  • Yes I'm fine on Erfa - so far, cant feel any difference to Armour. hope you feel better soon c

  • Yes, I have ordered some Benadryl to see if that helps! I have been hoping it was just a temporary problem, maybe my body needing to get used to new fillers...

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